You could be the most careful driver in the world but it still doesn’t stop accidents from happening. When it comes to owning a car, it’s important that you’re aware of how safe your car is to drive on the road. If you’re wanting to improve its safety, here’s a few things that might help to ensure you and your passengers are safe from harm.
Seatbelts On Before Starting The Engine
You don’t always have a green light that every passenger in your car has their seat belt on. For older cars, they may not have the feature that tells you that everyone’s got them on. Either way, it’s not always the first thing that you do as the driver to check everyone has done their part to stay safe in the car. So make it a rule that before you even start the engine, you tell all your passengers to put their seat belts on. If they’re having trouble, help them out instead of starting the engine and driving off. Being distracted while on the move isn’t going to reduce the risks of you having an accident so make sure it’s sorted before leaving your parking space.
If you discover that a seat belt is broken or isn’t working, then you shouldn’t be using that as a seat until you’ve fixed the seat belt. It might be a major inconvenience but at the end of the day, it’s their life at risk as well as everyone else who is in the car.
Keep The Tires Healthy
The tires on your car are probably one of the most important features because they keep the car rolling forward and they also contribute to the speed and the rate at which the car stops. It’s essential that your car tires are maintained to a healthy standard as it’s worth making sure that you have a spare on you should a tire burst while you’re on the road. Some maintenance tips when it comes to your car, in general, are the following:
- Rotate your tires every so often as this can help tires wear evenly.
- Keep an eye on the tire pressure, making sure to pump them up when needed and to avoid overpumping.
- Check the tire tread depth regularly because this can also impact the tire’s performance on the road.
You should also think about tire change to adapt to the seasons. The difference between summer and winter tires is quite significant and it can help with the overall drive, making it easier. It’s an additional cost but it’s worth the investment to have that extra level of safety, knowing you have the right tires for all weather conditions.
Test The Air Bags & Brakes
Getting your car serviced annually is a legal requirement but you should also make sure that the airbags are tested as well as the brakes. These are both very important to the car’s safety so it’s good to make sure these are tested. Over time you’ll become very familiar with how your car feels to drive and how it sounds. You will probably notice when there’s something wrong with your brakes so use your initiative too when out on the road. If something doesn’t feel or sound right, there’s likely to be something wrong and that’s when you need to get it checked out immediately. Take anything to do with the brake pads seriously because you want your mind at ease to know that when you need to do an emergency stop, you’ve got healthy brakes to do so.
Keep An Eye On Your Speed
It’s always worth knowing what your local speeds are around you but when travelling to new areas, it’s a good idea to do your research. You can do this by looking at your journey beforehand and making note of any significant changes in the speed. It can be very easy for drivers to forget about how fast or how slow you are driving, so having these noted down is handy. You do have the added benefits of your phone’s maps or a Sat Nav. These can be very beneficial if you don’t want to be stopping to remind yourself of the speed limits at every change. Instead, these will vocally alert you when there’s a speed camera nearby or when the speed limit increases or decreases. It’s easy enough to get into a habit when it comes to your local area too, so if it helps, you can always pop on your satnav in the background just to remind you.
Driving is a pretty monotonous task and it can sometimes become tempting to get distracted by your phone or by changing the radio station or CD on your car’s stereo system. However, all of these distractions can increase that risk of you having an accident at the wheel. So, try to remove any distractions when driving alone and if you have passengers in the car, make them responsible for changing the music and answering any urgent calls that might come through on your phone while driving.
If you find yourself become distracted regardless, it might be a sign that you need to take a break. No matter how urgently you need to get to your destination, your safety should always come before that so take a break at a local service station if you’re feeling out of sorts. Tiredness can also be a common cause of accidents, so always factor in a quick nap if it’s an extra long drive.
Your car is never going to be 100% safe and there will always be the risk of an accident, but with these tips, you can at least do everything as a driver to help reduce these risks. Avoid distractions, keep an eye on your tires and make sure you regulate your speed both in an area that you are familiar with but also to new areas. Your responsibility as a driver is to make sure both you and your passengers get from A to B in one piece, so take all the precautions to make that so.